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Old 04-04-2009, 07:30   #16
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Yes, we liked Cartagena a lot. Our favorite food places were Mimo's (ice cream), breakfast at Club Nautico, shoarma at the terrace I forgot the name of and restaurant The Pharaoh for dinner. Did I mention Mimo for desert? ;-)

Other very nice places in Colombia are Bahia Gairaca (5-bays), Rosario's and our #1 favorite: Sapzurro at the Panama border.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 04-04-2009, 07:48   #17
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Thanks Nick. Mimo's is a company from Medellin, Colombia and they have been around for a long time with vast presence all over the country, I never miss Mimo's at least once a week

My mother has a cabin in Capurgana right next to Sapzurro where I plan to anchor for a few months on my way to San Blas and of course I am making sure my Adler-Barbour is efficient enough to carry at least two litters of Mimo's haha

ciao
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:39   #18
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The red snapper we had at Trini's restaurant in Sapzurro was the best we ever had. I also understand that they are planning for stern-to-beach moorings so that more boats fit in that comfortable corner of the bay.
My favorite Mimo's ice-cream was the pistache and the yoghurt-berries. I didn't dare to order the blue one....

ciao!
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:07   #19
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I know Trini's restaurant and the only restaurant I have found that may have fish that great is Mont Mar in Hammamet, Tunisia but that is long ways from Colombia haha

Where did you guys anchored so I can have a good idea on where to do it myself? Pistache and its pale green color is a relatively new flavor at Mimo's I ate too much for free when there were introducing it to the market...cheap sailor haha

Hope we cross roads in Colombia sometime in the future Nick.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:58   #20
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Okay, I'll explain it a little silly but it's the only way I can do it knowing you get there for sure ;-)

If you come in, don't go through the big Hawaii style surf because that's a reef. I know you think I'm mad writing that but others read this too and I saw a cruiser doing it and heard about others. One went spreaders into the water while turning away from it and they skipped Sapzurro! The entrance is about 500 yards wide with a 100 yard reef on the starboard side so that leaves 400 yards and entering through the middle as safe but these cruisers didn't manage and declare it a dangerous entrance. I hope they never have to pass a 30' cut in a reef!

Well, you come all the way in until you're close (say 100') to shore. You will see a beach and in places a reef right in front of the beach. You turn to port and follow the beach and at some point you will have turned 180 degrees but see your path blocked by a point of land with a small reef extending from that. This is the place as that small reef provides protection. You anchor quite close to the beach and bring a stern-line to a palm tree on the beach. Any swell leftovers are on the bow that way so it's perfect. Also, more boats can anchor there this way.

In reality you don't do what I wrote, you find the little reef when you're coming in but it is really far in and there are many points and small reefs and you have to get the last one. Maybe when you come the moorings are already there. When we came in we were the only sailboat but I saw three coming out before we arrived and the next day others came and we were never alone until we left so you have a good chance that you can just head to the other's in that corner ;-)

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Old 06-04-2009, 05:33   #21
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Nick, very valuable information thanks. I also read there is big unchartered buoy somewhere around that area, is that true?

What other tips do you have for the Sapzurro area? I have made some adjustments to my current plans and we will be sailing to San Juan, PR next Thursday instead of spending more time at the BVI, I have a friend who wants to help us with his time and do some more work on the boat at his marina in PR so of course I am taking the offer

From PR we will sail to Cartagena about the last week of April and then probably stay in Cartagena a couple of months before heading to Sapzurro for another couple of months, not rush since we will happily be out of the hurricane area. So yes Sapzurro is on my list and the town of Capurgana a few feet from there is served by mighty Twin Otters that will allow me to go inland to Medellin and Bogota for provisioning.
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:35   #22
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JC,

See these links to our blog archives and photoalbums:

s/v Jedi: 14 entries from september 2007
Bahia Honda: 20070909_065242
Cabo de la Vela: 20070910_080852
Ensenada Gayraca: 20070912_024434
Rodadero: 20070917_113237
Puerto Velero: 20070920_075904
Cartagena
Cartagena de Indias: 20070924_125454
Castillo San Felipe: 20070927_075510
Cartagena to Sapzurro: 20071120_094743

There are many possible stops along the Colombian coast before reaching Cartagena and they are all nice enough that I can recommend them: Bahia Honda, Cabo de la Vela, Bahia Gairaca, Rodadero and Puerto Velero (Punta Hermosa) are just the ones we stopped at.

These blog pages are in Dutch but the photo's will tell some of the story and maybe you find a translate-site for the rest. I just tried that and the result is really funny to read. It only makes sense if you try to understand it but most words are English. See this for an example: Translated version of http://www.sv-jedi.org/sv_jedi/2007/09/index.html

Also, the photo's of our chartplotter show you position and chart. Every pre-2006 chart of Bahia Honda lacks the detail so you can use our photo instead. The charts we used were 2006 C-Map and included new surveys of Colombia.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:23   #23
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Those pictures made me feel real proud of being a good colombian Nick. Cabo de la Vela is definetly one of the places one needs to see before leaving this earth.

You did great with that cam...

Are you available on Skype somehow for some Maxsea questions?
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Old 07-04-2009, 13:31   #24
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Skype??!! with that lousy wifi service here in the marina? I'm happy if I can read this forum! Many posts come up double or more because of time-outs and other **** and I have to delete the doubles etc.

MaxSea charts: I share them when you meet me ;-)

My camera is a Canon A710-IS which I selected for the good but cheap underwater housing that you can get for it (housing also Canon). It is not super small but small enough for me and I love the regular AA batteries it uses. I switched to those new tech Eneloop rechargeables that are a mix of NiMH and alkaline (they don't self-discharge).

Cabo de la Vela is nice but windy of course. We enjoyed Puerto Velero (=Punta Hermosa) even more and I have a feeling that you haven't been there yet but would love it. There's this Colombian guy there that has sailing & windsurfing school. He's got a restaurant and it all is in pure hippie style incl. Pink Floyd music. That anchorage is also all-weather even though it doesn't look like that on the charts. Don't miss it !!

ciao!
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Old 07-04-2009, 13:49   #25
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Thanks Nick hope your Internet connection improves in the future haha

I have seen Cabo de la Vela and all Colombia from the air hundreds of times but I haven't have the opportunity to actually visit, I heard the waters in there can get really nasty. Can you give me grid coordinates for Punta Hermosa, sounds like a nice spot to spend a few days.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 07-04-2009, 16:31   #26
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I see that I don't have a photo of the chart plotter in that album and I don't have the plotter handy... but we have Google... after you pass the Rio Magdalena and Barranquilla, you turn to port to follow the coast. Now you pass Puerto Colombia. After that you get a silt-deposit (from the Rio I think) and it is behind that. When you look on Google maps you have to switch to satellite view to see it, the map doesn't show the place at all! I can see all the beach-huts lined up around the bay and even the hippie sail&surf center ;-) The point sticks out very well but it isn't on the charts so make a print out from a satellite photo.

It's at 10 56.93 N, 75 01.89 W I read. This piracy report details this part of the trip: Noonsite: 2002 - Piracy Reports
That story also shows that you need at least lock your companionway entrance at night but we felt so safe that we didn't. Note that since the incident described on this page, the Colombian coastguard keeps an eye on all yachts traveling down the coast. We saw them looking for us in every anchorage and were boarded once when we were sailing past Santa Martha where they have a base. The boarding was a good experience and the officer used our radio to report our details incl. intended stops to their station. I also understand you can file a float plan with them but they find you anyway as they patrol the whole coast between Santa Martha and Cartagena in superfast boats. I don't think anything happened since this incident in 2002 and we liked it very much.

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Old 07-04-2009, 20:23   #27
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Thanks for the info Nick and yes the colombian navy is well known for being ultra careful about the safety of private yachts in that sector between Santa Martha and Cartagena and maybe they go now all the way down to Zapsurro.

Here is the area from my chartplotter, my friend Juss resized for me



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Old 14-04-2009, 13:50   #28
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Okay, the bay is all the way down in the bottom left corner of the picture. It's called Punta Morro Mermoso in your chart.

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Old 14-04-2009, 14:26   #29
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What a beautiful place columbia is. Visited once, can't wait to go again.
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